I really like crispy skin salmon but not as much as like steamed salmon. Something about the steam brings out the omega-3's and it not only is delicious but feels so good to eat. You say, "but there is a lot of butter in this recipe" and I say, "yes, but I consider butter to be brain food." More importantly I think salmon and chervil are great together and then add the classic French mirepoix and, wow, something simple becomes so, so, so good. The mirepoix is so important to cooking but so often it is used as seasoning and not a side dish. Trust me it goes great with salmon. FYI, the mirepoix is always 50 percent onion family, 25 percent carrot and 25 percent celery. The other thing I like about this dish is a delicious sauce is created right in the steamer plate. —thirschfeld
leeks, whites only, rinsed and 1/4 inch dice, or onions
carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice
celery stalks, rinsed trimmed and 1/4 inch dice
unsalted butter, room temp
dry white wine
6 oz. salmon filets, skinless, the thinner the piece the better for roulades
kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper
In This Recipe
Season the salmon filets with salt and white pepper. Remember saltwater fish can always take more salt than any other protein. It seems weird seeing how it comes from the ocean but trust me salt it liberally. Liberally doesn't mean go crazy just make sure you really salt it.
Take a hint from the Japanese and let it sit for 20 minutes to absorb the salt. Meanwhile set up your steamer. I use a bamboo steamer in a wok but use what you have. An upside down glass pan lid in a pot with another lid works too.
In a saute pan over medium heat melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and season them with salt and white pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover. You do not want the mirepoix to color. Sweat until tender but not mushy.
While the mirepoix is sweating, combine the chervil and remaining five tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl and mix to combine. Divide the butter evenly and spread the butter over the filets. Roll the filets into a roulade and tie snuggly with kitchen twine.
Place the filets onto a heat proof deep plate and sprinkle with white wine until you have a little pool of wine on the plate. About a 1/3 of a cup.
Place the plate into the steamer and set a timer for 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer being careful not to spill the plate juices.
Plate with the mirepoix, then the salmon and pour the plate juices evenly across the top of the salmon and serve.